Silverbeet and roasted garlic soup

Serves 4 people

Silverbeet, like so many green vegetables, is best prepared by the Italian approach. Its hearty and earthy character is easily subsumed by more powerful flavours, and hence chefs must show great restraint when cooking.

  • 1 bunch silverbeet
  • 1 brown onion, diced finely
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1L chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch parsley, picked
  • 1 bunch oregano, picked
  • 2 tbsp double cream

1 Strip the silverbeet leaves off the stalks and chop the stalks finely.

2 Place the garlic and thyme in a piece of foil, drizzle with the olive oil, then wrap and bake at 180C for 40 minutes. Once cooked, squeeze out the cloves of garlic.

3 Sautee the onion and silverbeet stalks in butter until softened.

4 Add the garlic and cloves and cook for one more minute.

5 Add the lemon juice and stock, season well with salt and white pepper, then simmer for 15 minutes.

6 Puree the soup.

7 Shred the silverbeet leaves, then add to the soup with the herbs. Cook for 5 minutes, then puree again.

8 Check the seasoning and stir in the cream.

9 Serve with crusty bread and olive oil.

Professional Tip: Wash and carefully dry silverbeet on the day you buy it, then store in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper of your fridge.